"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, September 30, 2013

NEWS - Congressmen Whitfield and Cohen Explain the Term "Weighted Shoes"

A typical argument the Lickers have been using to discredit the PAST Act is the term "weighted shoes."  They tell people that this means it will eliminate shoes from all divisions of the TWH industry, and that horses will only be allowed to go barefoot or wear aluminum shoes.  They express outrage over even their trail horses not being able to wear shoes.

This is far from the truth.  It has already been stated that the USDA would be given jurisdiction to determine the definition of a "weighted shoe."  The USDA has no problem with NWHA's shoeing rules, so it is quite possible they will allow the Plantation shoe, the 1 1/2" to 1" shoe, at the max.  But of course, the industry ignores this information and pretends it was never said.

On Friday, Congressmen Ed Whitfield and Steve Cohen sent this letter to TWHBEA explaining what will be done concerning the term "weighted shoes."  They make it perfectly clear that not only will shoes not be eliminated from the show ring, but the PAST Act does not dictate what people can use on their trail horses or breeding horses.  This is basically the official information on how the PAST Act will be handled once it's passed.  Click here for a pdf of this document, and feel free to share it around!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

UPDATE - TWHBEA's Sound EC Members and Pat Stout Need Support; Additions to the Sound State Reps List

*** Updated to correct the MN candidate

As was expected, the Lickers are up in arms that Pat Stout sent out the postcards to ask for our vote.  They are claiming that TWHBEA did not give permission for Pat to use the TWHBEA logo or name, and of course they are threatening to sue her.  The Executive Committee is going to have a meeting on Saturday, and there will be an attempt to force her to step down from her position.

Let's remember, though: if this had been the Lickers who had sent out this survey, they would have had no problem with someone using the logo!

So we need your help!  Email the EC at execcomm@twhbea.com and let them know you SUPPORT Pat and the efforts by TWHBEA to support the sound horse once and for all.  This is extremely important.  TWHBEA needs to hear from everyone!

Next, the list of candidates for state reps that are for the sound horse and the PAST Act is growing!  Below is the most updated list.  If the candidate is not on the ballot, please write him/her in!  Don't forget about the tips I included on our previous blog post with the list.

Also, I know that a lot of trail riders, endurance riders, and people who do other things with their TWHs besides show don't always pay much attention to their membership, or they shun TWHBEA altogether because of the Big Lick and soring.  So, please seek them out and ask them to take the time to vote this time around.  Show them this list and explain that even though we know they don't show, we need their support to help end the abuse.  All it takes is a checkmark or a write-in and sending the mail back!

I must say that I am very excited to see TWHBEA growing this way.  I'm glad I turned in a membership, and I am very hopeful and positive that we'll see REAL change within the next year!  Keep up your letters and hard work--IT IS making a difference!

State (seats available)
Declared Candidate
Write In Candidate
Sound Candidate
Alabama (1)
Ford Gates
Roger Hand
Roger Hand
Arizona (1)
Curt Rosemann
Pam Reband
Pam Reband
Colorado (1)
Rick Evans
Polly Jean Blanchard
Nicole Tolle

Rick Evans
Georgia (2)
Donald Godbee
Loyd Black
Susan Paul
Jo Ellen Finerfock
Donald Godbee
Jo Ellen Finerfock
Indiana (1)

Linda Wray
Linda Wray
Kansas (1)

Julie Keller
Julie Keller
Kentucky (3)
Linda Starnes
Carrie Benedict
Spencer Benedict
Kim Bennett
Lloyd Cassidy
Gene Carswell
Melanie Lawrence
Paul Rosevear

Linda Starnes
Minnesota (1)
Cynthia Endres
Paulette Nuetzel
Paulette Nuetzel
Mississippi (1)
Karla Nichols Massey
Ashley Wadsworth

Karla Nichols Massey
Missouri (1)
Caroline Hoffman
Debbie Hennemann

Caroline Hoffman
Ohio (1)
Joyce Moyer
Jack Kwok

Joyce Moyer
Tennessee (2)
David Pruett
Dee Dee Miller
John Allred
Rollie Beard
Larry Lowman
Nathanael Jackson
Carol Seares
Stephen B Smith
David W Williams

David Pruett
Dee Dee Miller
Texas (1)
Everett Butch Allen
Jerri Sue Arrighi
Sharon Redwine
Sharon Redwine
Utah (1)

Gordon Hirschi
Gordon Hirschi
Virginia (1)
Pam McKinney
Margaret Hershberger
Margaret Hershberger
West Virginia (1)
Angela Cook-Huffman
Charles Wright
Jeff Tanner

Washington (1)
Linda Arnold
Kimberly J Widner

Linda Arnold
Wisconsin (1)
Mick Salm

Mick Salm
Region 1 - Netherlands (1)

Sandra van den Hof
Sandra van den Hof
Region 2 - NE, NM, ND, SD, NV (1)

Region 4 (1)
Julie Dillon
Loren Stevens

Julie Dillon
Region 5 - AK, BC, HI (1)

Region 6 - Eastern Provinces of Canada (1)


Bill Adams
Bill Adams

Denise Bader-Keyser
Gerrit Band


Monday, September 23, 2013

HOW YOU CAN HELP - Important New Poll from TWHBEA VP Pat Stout Funded by an Anonymous Individual

I'm thrilled to announce that the TWHBEA Vice President, Pat Stout, has mailed out a post card ballot to all current TWHBEA members.  This ballot asks the essential question that TWHBEA needs to know:

Yes or No: “I am FOR passage of HR 1518/S. 1406 – “Prevent All Soring Tactics” Act to remove the pads and chains in order to end the public perception of soring and abuse presently associated with the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed, to eliminate HIOs and to increase penalties for soring”.

This was funded by an anonymous individual, not by TWHBEA, so a huge thank you to them for doing this!

Of course, the other side is LIVID...they are tearing up the Interwebz with their anger, claiming copyright infringement of the logo and name.  But let's remember: it would have been perfectly okay to do this if one of the Lickers in TWHBEA would've thought to do it!  They'd have been behind it 100%!

This is a GREAT idea and I'm thrilled to see Pat do this.  So if you get yours in the mail, please vote to approve the passage of the PAST Act!  Let's get TWHBEA on the right track!

Below is the text from the Billygoboy website.  Click here for the article.


Posted on September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013
Cookeville, TN – Pat Stout, Vice President, Horse Shows Division of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry known as TWHBEA, announced that on September 20, 2013, she mailed a Post Card Ballot to all eligible voting TWHBEA members regarding a “POLL ON HR 1518/S.1406”.

Stout said she is asking the members to vote “YES” or “NO” on the following poll question:

“I am FOR passage of HR 1518/S. 1406 – “Prevent All Soring Tactics” Act to remove the pads and chains in order to end the public perception of soring and abuse presently associated with the Tennessee Walking Horse Breed, to eliminate HIOs and to increase penalties for soring”.

In announcing the Poll, Stout said, “I feel like the TWHBEA membership never gets a chance to directly voice their opinion on issues. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this question, and I believe it is important to let each member have their say on this paramount matter facing the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.”

Stout said she was going to vote “YES” on the Poll question, and she urged all members to vote their convictions on this matter.

Stout said, “I feel strongly about this issue, and I personally paid for the deposit required by the Cook and Company CPA firm in Arab, Alabama to count the votes. She said that the cost of mailing the cards was paid for by an annonymous individual. Stout said, “Cook and Company CPA firm will tabulate the “Poll on HR 1518/S. 1406” ballots the same day that the TWHBEA Directors ballots are counted.” The ballots must be received by the certified public accounting firm of Cook and Company of Arab, Alabama on or before Tuesday, October 15, 2013.


The background leading up to Stout’s decision to poll the membership is that on May 23, 2013, the Executive Committee of TWHBEA voted 7 – 4 to endorse HR 1518, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on April 11, 2013, by Congressmen Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Steve Cohen (D-TN). Immediately following the Executive Committee meeting on May 25, 2013, a group of Directors unsuccessfully attempted to overrule the Executive Committee.

Following the meeting, on May 27, 2013, TWHBEA President Tracy Boyd issued a public statement explaining his vote to endorse HR 1518. Boyd cited the financial losses of the breed registry and said, “the image conveyed by our (padded) performance horse is no longer accepted in 2013”.

President Boyd said the reason that TWHBEA had suffered such drastic losses in revenue was “It is our reputation. It is soring. It is our image.” Boyd said that “the Tennessee Walking Horse breed had no friends (in the equine world) outside the Tennessee Walking Horse business.” He said “the World Equestrian Games refused our sponsorship and returned it to us”. Boyd concluded his statement by saying “ … when you have lost the public, you have lost it all … and we have clearly lost the public”.

Following the meeting, Tracy Boyd was fired by his employer, Baskin-Irby Construction over his decision to endorse HR 1518, and his public statement explaining his vote. Baskin – Irby was partly owned by Roger Baskin, son of Randall Baskin. Randall Baskin has an HPA violation history along with his horse “Mr. Heisman” and his Trainer Brandye Mills. Upon being fired, Tracy Boyd was hired by the TWHBEA Executive Committee on June 24, 2013 to become TWHBEA Executive Director taking the place of Ron Thomas who took early retirement.

The TWHBEA breed registry located in Lewisburg, Tennessee and founded in 1935, has fallen on hard times in recent years. The public has rejected the soring of the Tennessee Walking Horses being exhibited in the show ring, and this has caused the revenue stream to dry up. Breeders have stopped breeding their mares due to the uncertainty in the Tennessee Walking Horse business. TWHBEA’s cash flow depends directly on registration of colts born each year and transfers of ownership of horses.

The organization’s membership has declined from approximately 20,000 members at its peak 16 years ago to approximately 8,000 today. Foals registered each year have dropped from approximately 14,000 to 2,500, an all time low. Many horse shows have been cancelled due lack of public support as a result of the stigma caused by the soring of the horses which has become systemic over a number of years.

The breed organization has 6,945 members eligible to vote as of September 13, 2013. 6,673 are located in the United States, 126 in Canada and 146 scattered throughout the world including Israel and Australia.

In December 2012, a Mason-Dixon Poll of voters showed that 75% of Tennessee voters and 69% of Kentucky voters supported federal legislation to strengthen the Horse Protection Act, and 62% to 26% in Tennessee, and 45% to 36% in Kentucky, favored making horse soring a felony offense.

Presently, 151 Congressmen now co-sponsor HR 1518, Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. The Bill was referred to House Energy and Commerce Committee, sub committee Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade chaired by Lee Terry (R-NE). A companion bill, S. 1406, was introduced in the U. S. Senate on July 31, 2013. Congressional Hearings are expected to be held soon on the matter. It will take 218 Congressmen to bring the Bill to the House Floor for a vote.

The following organizations and individuals are among a large number which have endorsed the passage of HR 1518/S.1406:
The American Veterinary Medical Association (83,000 members)
American Association of Equine Practitioners (10,000 members)
The American Horse Council
United States Equestrian Federation
The American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals.
The Humane Society of the United States
American Quarter Horse Association
American Saddlebred Horse Association
American Morgan Horse Association

American Paint Horse Association
Appaloosa Horse Club

Former United States Senator Joseph Tydings, Author of HPA in 1970
Donna Benefield, Horse Protection Expert; 2010 Celebration Consultant
Marty Irby, Past President of TWHBEA (2010 -2012)
Chuck Cadle, Former Executive Director, TWHBEA
Clay Harlin, Pastor, Former Harlinsdale Farm & TWHBEA Executive
Gary Lane, Gaited Horse Clinician
Teresa Bippen, President, Friends of Sound Horses
Pat Parelli, Natural Horsemanship Training
Monty Roberts, Horse Whisperer
#### [This list is much larger than this--click here for the entire list.]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NEWS - List of Sound Horse Candidates for TWHBEA

After a lot of hard work and long hours, I've been given the following list by a group of very trustworthy people as to these folks being the ones to vote for to turn TWHBEA into a completely sound horse organization.

Here are some of the things that TWHBEA truly needs in order to turn around and be a positive place for the TWH breed to flourish.  Of course, there are other issues, and many of these items will take time to come to fruition.  But these are the most important and are some of the keys to ending soring and getting rid of the stacks and chains in the show ring.
  • Support of the PAST Act / HR 1518 / S 1406
  • Support ending HIOs
  • Support of the USDA VMOs at horse shows
  • Remove HPA and rule violators from the EC, BOD, and committees (conditions accepted)
  • Taking on the industry-wide rulebook
  • Working with the USEF/USDF to put the TWH into their favor as a supported breed

Now, of course, we're seeing people spreading the list of the opposition, basically those who want to keep THWBEA status quo.  These are truly not people who want the industry to go sound and want to elect Steve Smith, a sore horse supporter who unfortunately has money.  To read more about Steve Smith, check out Billy Go Boy's website.

Of course, its up to you as a TWHBEA member to decide who to vote for, and you must do your own research.  Here's a link to the HPA Violation list, a link to the current USDA Active Suspension Report, and a link to the USDA Suspension Report since 01-2010.  Here's also the list of the PAST Act supporters.  Remember that some people have gone sound even though they have violations, but it's still a good idea to question them just in case.

I also came up with a few questions that would be prudent to ask if you get a phone call or an email from a candidate wanting your support.  I think if you either get the answer "no" to these questions, or you don't get a straight answer but instead have someone skipping around it, then that person might be someone that isn't truly for the sound horse and making changes within TWHBEA.
  • Do you agree that soring is still used as a training method in the TWH industry?
  • Do you agree with keeping the Big Lick horse in the ring?
  • Do you agree with the PAST Act as written?
  • Do you agree with everything in the PAST Act except the phrase "heavy shoes"?
  • Do you agree that TWHBEA needs to support the PAST Act as written?
  • Do you agree that the breed will die out if the Big Lick horse is removed from the ring?
  • Do you agree that TWH shows will end if the Big Lick horse is removed from the ring?

And of course, think up your own questions as you need to.

The number next to the state is the number of positions available for that state.  I have only listed the sound horse candidates, not the entire list of candidates.  This is basically who to vote for.  Feel free to pass this list around!

This list may change as things progress.  Some of these are write-ins, some of them are already on the ballot.  The membership deadline to receive a voting ballot was September 13.  However, if you still want to join, call the TWHBEA office directly and ask if you can do so so you can vote and be sent a ballot.  Membership is $60 for an individual and doesn't include the Voice magazine anymore.


AL (1) - Roger Hand
AZ (1) - Pamela Reband
CO (1) - Rick Evans
GA (2) - Jo Ellen Finerfrock
IN (1)
KS (1) - Julie Keller
KY (3) - Linda Starnes
MN (1)
MS (1) - Karla Nichols Massey
MO (1) - Caroline Hoffman
OH (1) - Joyce Moyer
TN (2) - David Pruett & Dee Dee Miller
TX (1)
UT (1) - Gordon Hirschi
VA (1)
WV (1)
WA (1) - Linda Arnold
WI (1) - Mick Salm
Region 1 - Netherlands (1) - Sandra van den Hof
Region 2 - NE, NM, ND, SD, NV (1)
Region 4 (1) - Julie Dixon
Region 5 - AK, BC, HI (1)
Region 6 - Eastern Provinces of Canada (1)
AB (1) - Bill Adams
Israel (1)
Germany (1)

Monday, September 16, 2013

ARTICLES - Clay Harlin's Letter to Congressman Whitfield

Well, this is a blog post, but it's still quite important.

On the heels of my post concerning Time To End This, I found out about this blog post from September 10th by Clay Harlin.  Harlinsdale Farm suffered greatly in 1998 when Clay came out against soring.  From the blog post:

On April 12, 1998 I came out publically on the front page of the Nashville Tennessean stating that “we were at a crossroads”, and “somebody’s got to do something and do it now [referring to soring] or this is going to get out of hand.” The Article went on to say “Harlin worries that the increasing emphasis on the so-called big lick…has led some trainers to use unscrupulous, painful methods.” Mr. Whitfield from that point on I was unofficially “black balled” from participating in the industry. In less than 3 weeks time I had 3 top champion breeding stallions moved from our stables by their owners due to my statements in the press. 2 of the owners told me that this was the case. Our breeding operation at Harlinsdale suffered financially until I made the decision a year later to leave the industry so my father could continue in business. Since that time I have watched the decline of this great breed that was unable to regulate itself. It was obvious to me that unless a federal law was passed prohibiting all acts of cruelty that the abuses would only continue.

Again, another example of the childish and self-destroying acts that the sore horse industry continues to participate in.  Harlin was correct, it has gotten out of hand, and now the industry is incapable of ending it.  This is why we need to vote in the upcoming TWHBEA elections--to get rid of those who are continuing to keep the TWH from stepping into the future and leaving the sore and the Big Lick behind it.

I encourage everyone to read Harlin's blog post and be sure to like, comment on, and share this post so we can get the word out!  The more we like, comment and share, the more attention this gets!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

THOUGHTS - Time To End This

So there were sore horses at the Celebration; entries in classes and the number of horses were way down; the stands were half empty the night of the WGC class; several of the big contenders, including Honors, who was supposed to win (fixed show, much?), were disqualified before the WGC class; PSHA/SHOW/TWHNC is lying about the number of horses shown that they found sore, they're fixing the numbers as usual; USDA is still working on getting their numbers out, blah, blah, blah.  The saga continues.  You can read about it on the Billy Go Boy website.

I'm not going to talk about that right now, however.  I have something else I need to talk about that others need to hear.  I'm sure all of you read my Where Do We Go From Here? post about how we need to start rethinking things, and how all of us are guilty of the demise of the TWH show world.

I recently joined TWHBEA so I could vote.  Mostly it was prompted by finally getting a true sound horse person to run for the representative for my state.  But I also took into consideration that there are a lot of sound horse people that are starting to make a difference.  We all know that prominent members are going sound for real.  There are even efforts to work with the HSUS--this year's Versatility Show put on by TWHBEA received HSUS sponsorship, when HSUS has never sponsored a horse show before.

Of course, the sore side is using their money and bullying to try to keep TWHBEA as sore as possible.  They continue to want to keep the TWH breed in the 1960s and want everyone to look the other way while they keep abusing animals.  So, let's talk about why all of you who are TWHBEA members, even if you're a trail rider, need to vote.  It all comes down to behavior.

These were posted on trash cans around the Celebration grounds this year.  Last year they only had pics of Keith Dane...now they've added Wayne.

For the record, no, Dane and Parcelle did not sit on the information and allow horses to continue to be abused, but the Industry is going to continue to say they did.  HSUS turned in the evidence to the Tennessee State Police a month after they collected it and sorted through it.  THE POLICE DID NOTHING FOR ELEVEN MONTHS, even after the HSUS continued to ask them about it.  So the HSUS did what they knew would get something done, and that is released the information to the public.  This has been explained time and time again by Dane, Parcelle, and other members of HSUS, but of course the Industry won't listen and makes up their own stories.

Then there's the TWHBEA Facebook page.  At first, they were consistently deleting comments they didn't like that post facts about the Big Lick and why it needs to end.  They continued to allow those who support the Big Lick to post nasty, insulting comments about those who don't support it.  Here's one of the comments that was on there.

9-8-13: There isn't anything in the constitution about your horse not having pads and action devices. In the old days there was a thing called a trace chain that was used to hook mules to plows and wagons. These would rub them until they bleed and then you put meat grease on them to help heal the wound. The other way to use a trace train is to use it as a whip. There wasn't any laws against that either. Today a lot of the people who start rumors and tell lies should be whipped with a trace chain. I bet that would help them mind their own business.

Here's another one, in response to TWHBEA's statement that they were allowing all types of conversation.

9-5-13: So in other words you are allowing breed trashing without supervision under the TWHBEA name just on another page.... there are already sites available for this, one is the Billy go boy site and the other is the For the TWH site... where untruths and rabid anti walking horse people post all day long.... to attach the TWHBEA name to this type of site is an insult to EVERY single member.... I have been a member of TWHBEA since 1984 ..... if twhbea wants a place for members to discuss things then put it back where it was on the ipeds forums where MEMBERS can discuss issues with other MEMBERS and not allow a bunch of louts to trash our breed and our members

Then they deleted everything and started a TWHBEA Forum page for the "discussions" that were going on.  If you can even call them that when the Lickers continue to hint, like above, about how it's their constitutional right to abuse animals.  The arguments got heated--I only read but didn't post.  Then they shut that down.  They told a member that they're going to continue to allow "discussion," but that they'll delete nasty posts.  The member pointed out that the nasty posts were clearly directed at the sound horse side...and it was nice to see that little dig.

Let's move on.

A couple of Facebook pages have popped up to counter Billy Go Boy's page and various other groups that are fighting to end soring.  They call those of us who are fighting to end soring "Crazy Cat Ladies."  I won't state the names of the pages here only because I don't want to see folks flocking to the pages as it shows up in their administration panel how many people are visiting their page.  They love it when lots of people show up.  However, let's just post a couple of the things they are saying on these pages.

9-8-13: Just came in for a minute to see whats going on and lo and behold I see them radicals that work at twhbea done lost they marbles. They started up a page just so the cat ladies can attack our beloved padded horses. We knew a bunches of dem was sissys and loved cats but we sho didn't know how bad. That tracy, ron and little mikey done gone turncoat crazy. You reckon its cuz they is ill that they leader is done gone missin and done got on hsus payrol now they want a piece of that pie? Shame shame. Might as well just shut them doors on that place in lewisburg. its a ghost town anyway. Hell I am outa here. I need a beer.

9-3-13: Finally got Lu Lu and the new baby back home. Had a lot of fun at the 231 south trailer park and Celebration.. I kept a eye on the Anti HSUS sign since I was just over the hill. BD and KD tried to tear it down until I shot them in the grotch with a bb gun.. I heard he went into hiding over that.. I heard papa was gona change his name to Clant. I also heard one congressman is gona have to answer some hard questions tomorrow..

8-20-13: Sissy just called me from the redneck bar. Papa BGB just walk in drunker than uncle cooter brown. Sissy said she was bored and had been talking with cat lady Linda,Suzi,and Jeannie. sissy told them they needed to get a man. they said why we need a man when we have 30 cats each and peanut butter.. I about fell off my bucket when she said that. they did admit they where miserable old hags and wished they could come to the Celebration andwatch the greatest horse on earth but cant find a cat sitter.. Sissy gona watch the celebration on her new Acer laptop at redneck bar. I told her we would all wave and smile..

(For the record...I don't visit those pages at all anymore.  I just visited to post this stuff here.)

On these pages, they call out specific names (as above), and many of us have had to report their posts to Facebook as harassment.  Luckily, Facebook has listened, and we've gotten those posts removed.  They also steal photos and names from others' Facebook pages and post them to specifically try to rile those people up and make fun of them.  Currently on one of the pages, they are making fun of a woman who is riding a horse in English tack.  They have also stolen this woman's horse's name and started a Facebook page using his name with a BL TWH for the profile picture.

Also via Facebook, some of the sound horse folks are being suspended by Facebook because other Facebook users have reported them for posting HPA violations.  Unfortunately, I don't think that Facebook's staff realizes that posting facts about someone on a public social media site isn't libel, but it's gotten pretty ridiculous at this point.

There's also the fact that two people have been fired from the Irby-Baskins roofing company: Tracy Boyd and Marty Irby.  Oddly enough, these men were fired AFTER they had announced that they want to see the horses sound and understand that the pads need to go.  It's quite suspicious, anyway.

Marty Irby wrote a letter explaining how he is now being harrassed and he is threatened, so he's had to go into hiding.  It's amazing how quickly people will turn on you when you expose them for what they really are, even your own family.  You can read Irby's letter here.

Let's also take a close look at some of the questions and responses from the Tennessean chat with Mike Inman and Keith Dane on August 29.  The question is in italics.  I put what I wanted to point out in green text.

Comment From Susan Carter 
How widespread is the practice of soring? Is it even possible for UN-sored horses to compete?

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Soring is not common at all. In fact, most of the shows this year had a 98% compliance rate with the Horse Protection Act. And the gait of the walking horse is natural. If you have seen a younger horse, you will see they are born with the gait.

Keith Dane: The statistics being cited here are those promoted by the traditional industry groups that have been exposed in the past for having conflicts of interest. The violation rates when USDA inspectors are present are much higher - often tenfold higher or more. This is why industry sefl-regulation doesn't work and must be eliminated.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: First I have to say, this year the compliance rate was the same when the USDA was in attendance, and, the HIO that inspects at 85% of the shows, does not allow any conflicts.

Keith Dane:  And the compliance rate at this year's Celebration is much lower than the 98% compliance rate just cited earlier...as it is every year.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Actually, that is not true. The HSUS has been spreading any lie they can think of, like the one they just told about the ten-fold increase when the USDA is not present. USDA is here at The Celebration and the compliance rate is 97.1%!

Keith Dane:  The statistic I quoted is the absolute truth, and is verifiable.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Again, the compliance rate - according to the USDA - is 97.1% Another lie.

Attack #1 by Inman: "The HSUS has been spreading any lie they can think of."

Attack #2 by Inman: "Another lie."

Comment From Oscar 
Question to both mr. Inman and mr. Dane. What would be, to your opinion, the future of the breed in case the PAST resolution would pass?

Keith Dane: When the problem of soring is eradicated, the TWH breed can thrive and grow. As long as soring continues and the industry is in denial, this will not happen.

The HSUS, the veterinary community, the rest of the horse industry have all agreed that the PAST Act is needed to protect horses and free this breed from the abuses of the past. The potential for the TWH once this happens is unlimited.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  The legislation was written to eliminate the entire breed. If passed, there would be no Tennesse Walking Show Horses.

Keith Dane:  That is a dismal and unrealistic view that is not shared by the rest of the horse world. There are MANY TWH competitions - for show horses - around the country, which do not offer classes for stacked, chained horses. The foundation is already there.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  HSUS supports putting an end to the Tennessee Walking Show Horse. They don't care about soring, they want to eliminate the sport, then go on to other equine breeds.

Keith Dane:  Mr. Inman is in no position to cite HSUS's position, which has been made clear repeatedly. We encourage and support the exhibition of sound, humanely trained natural TWHs, and support the horse industry as long as the welfare of the horse comes first. We had a booth at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in KY to show our support for the industry. The big lick TWH was not allowed to be a part of those Games, even in an exhibition format.

Keith Dane:  Defenders of the status quo continuously use this tactic of claiming that HSUS has an agenda against horse shows when in fact we work with and support many segments of the horse industry.

Attack #3: "HSUS supports putting an end to the Tennessee Walking Show Horse.  They don't care about soring, they want to eliminate the sport, then go on to other equine breeds."

Dane clearly states the FACT thet Inman "is in no position to cite HSUS's position."  He is not a member or spokesperson for HSUS, so his statement is in poor taste, among other things.

Comment From Ty Irby 
It is my understanding that the HSUS is, & has been, in contempt of a court order from an East TN judge several weeks ago regarding the Wheelon customer horses. Why have those horses not yet been released? Why were those horses transported out of the state of TN by the HSUS or it's representatives? Why does the Tennessean NOT report such information as this to the public??

(Note that Ty Irby is Marty Irby's father, who has basically disowned his own son for his decision to leave the BL behind.)

Keith Dane:  Our attorneys are in discussion with the local SPCA and District Attorney General on the issue of disposition of the Wheelon horses, and this has not yet been decided.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  You are defying a court order, and, if you are so concerned about their welfare, why wont you send them home to their owners.

Attack #4:  "You are defying a court order."  No, they aren't.  Wheelon's barn no longer exists at the address listed in the court order, so they can't be returned there.  A legal conclusion must be made.  And quite frankly, if their owners were allowing Wheelon to abuse their horses, then I don't think their owners should get them back.

Comment From Rory Carroll 
Mr. Inman, why have the trainers scratched so many horses from going in the ring? The mandatory penalties will not affect them unless they are themselves out of compliance, so if your claims are true, what's everyone afraid of?

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  Trainers withdraw their horses for a number of reasons, such as, entering multiple horses in the same class, or in multiple divisions. Even so, this year, the number of horses that were withdrawn is relatively small.

Keith Dane:  The number of horses shown has been relatively small...and gets smaller every year.

Comment From Donna 
Mr. Dane, Many feel that, as you say, the TWH indusrty has "failed" to cave to the pressure that the HSUS has put on the the TWH industry and many feel that HSUS is making an example of the people and horses in the business because of the subjectivity of the inspections. Would you care to respond to that.

Keith Dane:  The HSUS does not believe that the inspection process is as subjective as those who wish to use this argument in denial of the problem, would like the public to believe.

Keith Dane:  The American Association of Equine Practitioners has called soring one of the most egregious equine welfare problems - and it is a major proponent of reforms and the PAST Act. This is the nation's leading equine veterinary association.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  Would the HSUS make a grant of $250,000 to help the industry and USDA together develop objective tests.

Keith Dane:  The American taxpayer has already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for USDA to develop and invest in technology to be used in the inspection process.

Keith Dane:  Yet the industry disputes the findings of licensed, trained USDA veterinarians when violations are cited.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  That is why we are developing legislation. Right now, the only thing out there is a bill designed to eliminate the entire breed. They want to end the sport, we want to send soring, and are well on our way.

Keith Dane:  The PAST Act will not eliminate the breed or end the sport of TWH exhibitions. You are insulting all of the thousands of exhibitors of sound, flat shod TWHs when you say that THEIR sport is not legitimate, doesn't exist or cannot be the future of the breed. It will be.

Challenge: "Would the HSUS make a grant of $250,000 to help the industry and USDA together develop objective tests."

Attack #5: "The only thing out there is a bill designed to eliminate the entire breed.  They want to end the sport."

Again, another poignant post by Dane.  "You are insulting all of the thousands of exhibitors of sound, flat shod TWHs when you say THEIR sport is not legitimate, doesn't exist or cannot be the future of the breed."  Yes, Inman absolutely is insulting us!

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Mr Dane, why do you continue to defy the court order and not return the horses to the rightful owners?

Keith Dane:  I've answered the question regarding the disposition of the Wheelon horses.

Attack #6.  "Mr Dane, why do you continue to defy the court order and not return the horses to the rightful owners?"  Dane answered that question.  It's clear you don't believe him, but seriously, leave it alone.

So after all of that...we come to this: when an entire Industry is built on lies and cheating, they have nowhere to go but down.  The problem here is that they're not helping their case at all by the way they continually attack others.  Plus, they have resorted to attacks because it's their final tactic.

Don't get me wrong--the sound horse side has their own attackers.  But you don't see it happening unless they are defending themselves.  The sound horse side posts facts, references, scientific and peer-reviewed studies, and all kinds of information that continues to undoubtedly prove that soring still continues and that stacks are deterimental to the horse's well being.  I am preparing a post concerning the above Tennesseean chat with Inman and Dane, and it will become quite clear that Dane politely answered every question and defended the HSUS, it's position, and sound horse supporters, while Inman was clearly on the attack when things didn't go the way he wanted them to.

Of course, the Industry doesn't believe any of the information the sound side puts out there.  You could have 50 independent vets from all over the world look at a horse that just won the WGC and pronounce it sored, and they wouldn't believe it.  I'm sure Jesus himself could come down from the clouds and say the horse was sored, and they STILL wouldn't believe it.  It doesn't matter to them--they want to keep their way of life, so they find any excuse they can.  If their excuses aren't accepted, then they attack.

So this is why we need to vote.  These are people who are standing atop a mountain of lies that is falling out from under them, so their only way to deal with it is to attack.  When they act like children, it's time to treat them like children and take away their privileges to get to show TWHs and represent the TWH breed.  We need to get rid of them once and for all.  We need to be the better side of this situation and make our voices be heard not just on Facebook, on forums, and other places; we need to do it where it matters most.  Keep these people who continue to keep our breed from advancing from gaining power within the industry.  The sound horse movement is on a upswing, and we need to keep it that way.

Ballots will be mailed Monday, September 16, so be sure to call the TWHBEA office if you need to and make sure you are still on the membership list and will receieve a ballot.  www.twhbea.com.  We CAN make a difference!

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